Sunday, November 04, 2007


SoundCity is an online Nigerian Music site that promotes the young talent in the fast growing Nigerian music and entertainment industry.

Soundcity writes about Nnenna that features in Mode 9's smash hit "Cry", "....Ever since Nnenna lent her soul stirring vocals to the hook of Mode Nine’s smash hit, “Cry’ there has been no looking back for the Enugu born singer. What stands her apart from the league of chanteuse and chanteur wannabes is the vividness and breadth of her lyrics and strength of her voice.

While others choose to dwell on the sweet and fickle, taking one sided views on issues bordering on love and life, Nnenna takes song writing a step further by exposing their underbellies too: portraying both as, at times been brutal, with outcomes totally unplanned and undesirable.

With ‘Oluchi’ the first single off her soon to be released album titled ‘Kissed’ she takes a sonic foray into the social malaise that is wife battery. Touchy issue for a first single, but moving and credible enough to win her a strong fan base plus considering her prior involvement in another sad song ‘Cry’, the unenviable tag of songstress of gloom. She however is not to be pigeon holed as she also has a sultry and sensuous side to her which will be unraveled as time goes on and she churns out more singles..."

"...Nnenna (surname Ezakune) was born, the last of five children to a lecturer father who is now late and a nurse mother. Her gift of singing, she attributes to her mother who also sang and wrote songs but never took it past the home and church. She started writing songs at age ten when she and a couple of girls formed The Glory Sisters at the University Of Nigeria secondary school. All this while, it was for fun and games and not until she was refused membership into the choir because she was perceived as a threat to the existing members that she, under the guidance of her brother decided to take music seriously.

She recorded a demo and an album titled Enrapture which was distributed independently by her family. Her brother feeling that his sister had a good chance of success came down to Lagos from their Enugu base and shopped a management deal with Gbenga Shokefun who was then, amongst other things, managing gospel group Kush.

Her management contract ultimately saw the UNN graduate of estate management seal a record deal with Question Mark entertainment headed by Kevin Lucciano-Gabriel: the stable on which her Kissed album is to be released. For Nnenna who also plays the piano and the guitar, she isn’t just making music for the money but she is also looking at changing people’s mindset through her lyrics..."

Photo and excerpts courtesy of SoundCity


Uru, according to her website is "...short of Uruaku. In her native West African language, Igbo, her name means "essence of wealth".When describing her creative process, Uru talks of melodies or words simply coming to her. Sometimes in song, cometimes in poetry, in no particular order and no particular hour..."

Africanloft also says "...Uru is a musician who has garnered critical acclaim from an international audience for daring to be different. She has been praised by Bill Board magazine as having “the talent to become a chanteuse of FORMIDABLE fame”. Uru’sstory is one of individualism and determination. A woman who has a strong sense of what she wants to represent and a woman with strong ideals.

She had the option to be signed to a major record label in the United States, rather she chose to go with an independent label that will provide her the freedom to sing and perform the kind of music she wants. Beyond all this, Uru uses her Political Science degree to advocate on different issues plaguing the African continent. I got a chance to speak to this “chanteuse” who mixes Rock music, Hip Hop, Opera and African music into a melodious blend that invites you to her world.

Photo and excerpts in this article are courtesy of AfricanLoft and Tantrumrecords

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Her website says "...AYO is a German born artist, the offspring of a Nigerian father who had come to Germany to study in the 1970s, and sometimes worked as a DJ, and a mother who is a gypsy. AYOs rather unusual name means joy in Yoruba. Her rich cultural background is also reflected in her musical influences. She grew up amidst Pink Floyd and Fela Kuti, the Soul Children and Bob Marley, and many others.

AYOs nomadic lifestyle brought her to live between Paris and New York, two capitals that accurately sum up her musical identity. In Paris, word got around fast, and she held initial solo concerts with her guitar, opened for Omar, the British soul brother and jammed alongside Cody Chesnutt.

AYO's entire album, Joyful, was recorded in New York under live conditions. She cries, laughs and moves us with her simplicity. To accompany her, producer Jay Newland put together a group of open-minded musicians that, with a note on a B3 organ or with a stroke of slide guitar melodiously enter this unusual world, which is studded with a few words in Pidgin, the street language of Lagos, and unveils recollections of gypsy life.

In addition to her parents, two other influences helped her set the tone of this album, which very well could have been recorded some 35 years ago. Firstly, theres mentor Donny Hathaway. Her other reference is Jimmy Cliff. Like her predecessors, she strives to naturally and sincerely share her stories and touch others, boosted solely by her life experience and her dreams..."

Photos and excerpts in this article are from Ayo's Myspace blog

Jourdan Dunn

According to the Vogue website she is big news for the coming action this side of the pond. "She is gorgeous and it is going really well," says Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm Models, who famously discovered Kate Moss. "She is with us full time now. She had never left England before we took her to New York but she is loving it." Having already posed for the forthcoming Benetton campaign for photographer David Sims, Jourdan is now waiting for a slew of other jobs this season..."

Miles Erwin of the Metro Magazine of London writes that "...Jourdan Dunn was seen in the Hammersmith branch of the budget store by spotters from Storm – the company which launched the careers of Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Sophie Dahl.

The 17-year-old, who is almost 6ft tall with a 32-23-35 figure, was signed up and flown to New York Fashion Week, where she appeared in 15 shows for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Dian von Furstenberg and Tommy Hilfiger.

It was the first time she had left Britain. Since wowing the folks across the water, she has been part of an advertising campaign for Benetton, shot by photographer David Sims, and yesterday starred in the Julien McDonald show at the launch of London Fashion Week.

Jourdan said Storm's approach came out of the blue, adding: 'I was really, really shocked but delighted. 'My mum had said I would be a great model and I should approach some agencies. I never thought to, I didn't think I would make it.'

But Jourdan isn't letting all the attention go to her head. She still lives with mother, Dee, an office worker, in Greenford, West London. And she may not even be the only model in the family.

Her 16-year-old brother, who wants to be a footballer, has already been sounded out for a contract when he turns 17.

It's not the first time a supermodel has been discovered in an unusual place. Claudia Schiffer was found at a nightclub and Kate Moss was spotted at New York's JFK airport..."

Excerpts and photos in this article where taken from VOUGE, Metro, and STYLE.